Christian Life and Behavioral Standards
LeTourneau University provides an educational setting that is distinctive. Emphasis is placed on high academic standards, problem-solving experiences, and spiritual development centered on our faith in Jesus Christ.
Beyond imparting knowledge, LeTourneau University is committed to the total development of its students. Standards have been established to provide the framework for an environment that is conducive to emotional, intellectual, physical, social, and spiritual growth. It is the purpose of this handbook to provide information about student life, and to make students aware of the lifestyle they are voluntarily accepting while enrolled as a student at LeTourneau University. Students are responsible for the information contained in this Student Handbook.
A student's enrollment at LeTourneau University involves a moral agreement with the University that the guidelines will be followed. Faithful adherence to the standards and regulations of the University is a matter of each student's personal honor and integrity. The Board of Trustees, Administration, and Faculty of LeTourneau University have a deep sense of responsibility and desire that significant personal and spiritual growth will occur in the disciplined life of each student.
Student life expectations at LeTourneau University are based on two basic principles that will support the academic, practical, and spiritual commitment of the institution: Biblical standards and community standards.
Believing the Word of God to be of supreme and final authority in faith and life, the absolutes of the Scriptures speak directly to certain standards. Those practices that are forbidden in the Bible will not be condoned for members of the LeTourneau University community.
It is also recognized that Scripture condemns "sins of the spirit" such as covetousness, jealousy, pride, and lust. These by their very nature are more difficult to discern, but they lie at the heart of relationship between God and humanity and thus are central in the concern of our community.
Though a handbook necessarily deals with observable behavior, it is the desire of the University that students also realize the Biblical imperatives relating to the heart and the mind. Jesus Christ should be glorified in the lives of its campus community, not only in actions, but also in words and thoughts.
Community Living Standards
In order to provide a structure that allows for social order and cohesiveness--while protecting individual rights--certain common courtesy guidelines are necessary. These include appropriate procedures, guidelines, and regulations concerning social relationships and personal behavioral choices. These are not to be interpreted as standards of spirituality, but as standards of one's ability to function as an individual within this particular community of University students, faculty, and staff.
Specific Behavioral Guidelines
Based on the above Biblical and community standards, LeTourneau University has established specific Christian Life and Behavioral Guidelines of Living for all members of the University community. By virtue of their enrollment, students voluntarily accept the behavioral standards set forth in this handbook.
The following activities are prohibited...
Whether they are observed by a member of the community, verbally described, or personally shared for the public in verbal or written form (for example, through a personal website or social network), these behaviors are subject to administrative intervention and disciplinary action which may include Disciplinary Warning, Disciplinary Probation, Suspension, and/or Dismissal.
- Sexually immoral or immodest conduct, or the promotion of such, outside of marriage. These include activities such as (but not limited to): sexually graphic text messaging, chatting, or video conferencing; fornication; sexual promiscuity; and adultery—whether they are heterosexual or homosexual in nature. Cohabitation (sharing a room, apartment, or home) with a member of the opposite gender is included in this prohibition.
Based on biblical standards, we believe that God has created the institution of marriage to be between one man and one woman, and only within this institution does God bless intimate sexual expression; all other intimate sexual expression outside of marriage is considered immoral behavior. Consistent with our desire to celebrate and model a Scriptural approach to sexuality, the University prohibits same-sex dating behaviors and public advocacy for the position that sex outside of a biblically-defined marriage is morally acceptable.
Any student concerned about their experiences with sexual temptation, participation, or addiction—either heterosexual or homosexual in nature—may proactively seek assistance from the Office of Student Life or our counselors without fear of disciplinary action (see "Personal Growth Initiative").
- The possession, manufacturing, use, sale, or distribution of tobacco, alcoholic beverages, or illicit drugs. The prohibition against the use or possession of these items is a matter that the University takes seriously. Each has been widely recognized as a source of serious health and social problems. Their prohibition reflects LeTourneau University's tradition in keeping with the teaching of Scripture that we are to view our bodies as the temple of the Holy Spirit and thus treat them accordingly. Abstinence from these items will provide excellent self-discipline, and the University will be drawn closer together as a community if all of its members avoid their use.
- The use, sale, or possession of literature, games, pictures, posters, paraphernalia, movies, music, or other media that (a) depict lewd, obscene, sexually suggestive, or sexually degrading or demeaning material as determined by the Student Life staff; or (b) portray or promote the use of alcohol, tobacco, or illicit drugs, or (c) advocate Satanism, occultism, witchcraft, or any other spiritual philosophy that is blatantly inconsistent with Christian principles.
- Gambling, as it distracts from the academic environment and Christian community, threatens financial security, displays or promotes greed and materialism, and/or undermines spiritual and mental health.
- Theft, attempted or actual, to property of the University or property of a member of the University community or other personal or public property (including copyright infringements and violations).
- Dishonesty, including, but not limited to the following: a. cheating, plagiarism, or other forms of academic dishonesty; b. furnishing false information to any University official, faculty member or office; or c. forgery, alteration, or misuse of any University document, record, or instrument of identification.
- Profanity, obscenity, or vulgarity, whether spoken, written or visual, including language within personal websites, blogs, and social networks.
- Disorderly or destructive actions.
- Abuse, harassment, or assault, including physical abuse, verbal abuse, threats, stalking, intimidation, harassment, coercion, or other conduct that threatens or endangers the health or safety of any person.
- Unauthorized access to or entering of campus buildings, whether by possession, use, or duplication of authorized or unauthorized keys, or by use of any lock-evading instruments.
- Violation of the residence hall visitation policies.
- Hazing, defined by Texas law as an act which endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student, or which destroys or removes public or private property, for the purpose of initiation, admission into, affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in a group or organization. The express or implied consent of the victim will not be a defense. Apathy or acquiescence by another student in the presence of hazing are not neutral acts; they are also violations of this rule.
- Failure to comply with directions of University officials or law enforcement officers acting in performance of their duties, and/or failure to identify oneself to these persons when requested.
- Violations of standards of character, conduct, and scholarship to the extent that the student's attitude and actions are detrimental to the University and its students.
- Any other activity that is in violation of the laws of the land (the local community, the state, and the federal government), except in those rare cases wherein obedience to the civil authorities would require behavior directly in conflict with the teaching of Scripture. A student charged with a misdemeanor or felony is required to notify the Dean of Students within five (5) days of being charged.
- Abuse of technology including, but not limited to:
- Theft of equipment or service.
- Unauthorized entry into a file to use, read, or change the contents, or for any other purpose.
- Unauthorized transfer of a file.
- Unauthorized use of another individual's identification, password, MAC address, etc.
- Use of computing facilities that interferes with the work of another student, faculty member or University Official.
- Use of computing facilities to send obscene or abusive messages.
- Use of computing facilities to interfere with normal operation of the LETU computing system.
- Use of computing facilities and resources in violation of copyright laws.
- Abuse of the discipline process, including but not limited to:
- Failure to obey the notice of a disciplinary hearing or University official to appear for a meeting or a hearing.
- Falsification, distortion, or misrepresentation of information within a discipline meeting.
- Initiation of a disciplinary meeting knowingly without cause.
- Attempt to discourage an individual's proper participation in, or use of, the judicial system.
- Failure to comply with the discipline imposed by University officials.
Where the laws of God, society, and our community standards do not speak explicitly, the University holds that each Christian must decide what actions are appropriate for themselves. It is important to remember, however, that orderly community life and the reaching of common goals may require the individual to limit his or her own freedoms and privileges for the good of the group.
There are many opportunities to participate in and receive Christian fellowship, worship, and service on our campus; additionally, we believe engagement in a local church is extremely valuable for both our students and for the community. The University does not sponsor Sunday church services on campus so that students may choose a local fellowship.
Social dancing is not permitted on campus or at University-sponsored events. Social dancing presents a question about which Christians may disagree. The University administration's decision not to allow social dancing on campus reflects the belief that it could disrupt Christian fellowship. It is possible to provide many opportunities for healthy social interaction and mature Christian relationships without such questionable and potentially disruptive activity.
To clarify how this policy is interpreted, examples of acceptable forms of dancing include (but are not limited to):
- Choreographed dancing for a school-sponsored performance (e.g., Hootenanny)
- Dancing as part of a worship experience
- Cultural dancing as part of an educational event or experience
- Dancing with an instructor as part of a exercise/fitness program
For questions about dance-related activities, please contact the Dean of Students or Office of Student Life.
Students choosing to participate in social dancing off-campus should exercise caution as to their witness (of themselves and the University). The University strongly discourages students from attending dance clubs, dance bars, and other establishments that would be inconsistent with a Christian lifestyle.
Dating and Social Life
Behavior in a public place between couples should be such that the couple always appears approachable, rather than reclusive. Sitting or lying in each other's laps, and prolonged hugs or kisses are examples of unacceptable behavior. If a couple's public behavior is considered inappropriate, a faculty or staff member will address the behavior accordingly.
A good personal appearance, characterized by cleanliness and neatness, is expected of all students. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the individual student to exercise good taste and judgment in selecting clothing that is modest, neat, and appropriate while enrolled at LeTourneau University. Dress that distracts from the academic purpose or that would reflect values contrary to Biblical or community standards is not acceptable. A faculty or staff member may decide whether a given mode of dress disrupts the academic process in that instructor's classroom. Student Life staff may determine appropriate attire for other areas of campus.
Footwear must be worn in all nonresidential campus buildings, with certain exceptions applicable to the Solheim Center. Clothing should be modest so that it does not draw unnecessary attention to the wearer.
Appropriate Men's Attire
- Classroom and Chapel: slacks, jeans, shirts, and t-shirts without holes, and appropriate footwear. Modest length shorts may be allowed in a classroom if considered appropriate by the faculty member.
- Casual: any of the above, shorts or cutoffs of modest length, tank tops, sleeveless shirts, or casual apparel designed for play are appropriate.
- Recreation: racing style briefs are not considered appropriate swimwear for men.
Appropriate Women's Attire
- Classroom and Chapel: dresses, skirts, blouses, pants, jeans without holes, and appropriate footwear. Modest length shorts may be allowed in a classroom if considered appropriate by the faculty member.
- Casual: any of the above, shorts or cutoffs of modest length are appropriate.
- Recreation: swimwear must be one piece and modest in appearance.